Team USA Advances In World Cup; Tatum Sprains Ankle

Team USA survived a scare on Tuesday in Shanghai, narrowly pulling out a 93-92 win vs. Turkey in overtime and securing a spot in the second round of the 2019 World Cup. The Turkish team missed four free throws in the final minute of the game, opening the door for the USA Basketball squad to seal the victory.

Having defeated the Czech Republic and Turkey, Team USA will take a 2-0 record into its final first-round matchup against 0-2 Japan. The top two teams in each group move on to the round of 16, so even if Japan pulls off an extremely unlikely upset in Thursday’s game, Team USA would advance. The winner of Thursday’s Czech Republic/Turkey contest will also secure a spot in the second round.

Although they held off a strong push from Turkey, it wasn’t all good news for Team USA today. Jayson Tatum was forced out of action in the game’s final minute after rolling his left ankle, as a video from Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston shows.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst tweets that the official word on Tatum is a left ankle sprain. The Celtics forward will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, at which point we should have a better idea of whether or not we’ll see him suit up again in China.

Meanwhile, Team Canada was eliminated from medal contention on Tuesday after falling to Lithuania by a 92-69 margin. Canada, which lost to Australia on Sunday, is one of the only countries that theoretically features enough NBA players to fill out an entire 12-man squad. However, only two NBA players – Cory Joseph and Khem Birch – participated in the World Cup and Nick Nurse‘s squad couldn’t keep up with Australia and Lithuania in Group H.

Canada will enter the classification round along with the other 15 teams eliminated from the World Cup in round one. Those games will still be important, since Canada will have to finish between 17th and 23rd to clinch a spot in next summer’s Olympics qualifying tournament. A finish below 23rd would ensure the program doesn’t participate in the 2020 Olympics.

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5 thoughts on “Team USA Advances In World Cup; Tatum Sprains Ankle

  1. Curtisrowe

    Tatum getting hurt is exactly why the USA isn’t fielding anything close to its best team. These guys simply can’t afford to lose millions because of an injury they suffer in this type of competition.

    • IslandFlava

      Sadly injuries happen all the time… not just in competition. Look at DMC while training… Darius Miller as well… Wall in his own home, you cannot always protect players just not letting them play. Only hurts them financially if they are in contract year & is a career changing injury like DMC or Miller, Wall won’t be affected as he starts contract. JT is only a sprained ankle, not even a real injury.

      • sleepyfloyd

        An injury is an injury. The Celtics should be pissed because this may hold him back in training camp which is coming soon. Players first priority should be to the team and winning a chip, not done stupid Intl tournament

        • washington_bonercats

          What right do the Celtics have to be mad? I guarantee if they didn’t want him to play he wouldn’t have been playing.

          • x%sure

            If Tatum wants in he should be able to be in if chosen. Can’t stand this corporate tool wisdom.

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